Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. “They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Malachi 3: 16 – 18
As I get older, I have to write notes to remind myself of things, and I have to do it the second I think of something, or it will be forgotten. Some things are just too important to forget such as today’s notes: mail a friend a birthday card, order Cole’s birthday present while I have a 20% off coupon, find a book Miles wants, get soccer trading cards to mail to our sponsor child, Kobby, in Ghana; get a prescription refilled, and clean out my closet.
Now if I can just keep up with my list! But did you know, could you ever imagine that God too may keep some notes from time to time – and even more astonishing, did you know they may be about YOU, about US?
Malachi is one of those books in the Bible that we are probably not as familiar with as we are others, but I found the most incredible little passage tucked toward the end of this short book, and it includes the verses above.
Malachi was the last of the minor prophets. He wrote the last book recorded in the Old Testament, and his words are believed to be the last and final ones sent from God to His people for over 400 years until John the Baptist and Jesus, the Messiah, appeared, as prophesied in Malachi 3: 1: “I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.” (Doesn’t that just boggle your mind that it was prophesied over 400 years earlier and it came true? It does mine, but it shouldn’t! After all, it’s been a part of God’s plan since the beginning of time!)
Since the return of the Jews from their Babylonian exile, these people have neglected and disobeyed God, and Malachi prophesied to them that God would judge them for their wickedness, but He also promised that God would save those who remained righteous.
This first verse is about a remnant of those people who have remained faithful to Him and were meeting together to talk about their mighty God. This verse refers to them as “those who feared the Lord”, and in this text, “feared” means “in reverent awe and respect”. These faithful believers are meeting, talking, fellowshipping, and communing again and again over the things of God. They aren’t talking about the ordinary things of life, or of anything else. Their focus is on God alone and they are worshipping Him in awe and reverence.
And then notice the next words in this verse, “the Lord listened and heard, and a scroll of remembrance was written in his presence”. (From Scipture, it seems God may have several scrolls about His devoted followers! How I want my name on them, don’t you? )
Isn’t it amazing that God in all His glory and power who knows all things and will never forget anything wants to make some special notes about His people – things that He particularly wants to hold close? It seems it must be an ongoing process in which He weaves His thoughts together and meditates on the ways He wants to bless us with His love and grace.
And the next verse shows us even more about His pride and joy in those who love and honor Him, as Malachi writes, ” ‘They will be mine,’ says the Lord,” and He calls us His “treasured possessions” whom He will keep and “spare”.
God will lovingly care for us for all time and give us eternal life with Him. We are His prized possessions whom He has personally acquired through our faith in Him and whom He carefully protects, loves, and has compassion on.
Just the thought of it should make us want to think of Him more, love Him more, and speak of Him more than ever before. After all, He is listening, and He may want some notes taken on His scroll of remembrance about us!
Dear God, we are so humbled by your interest in us, your love for us, and your compassion to keep us near to you. May we be found faithful and devoted to you, and may you hear us speaking your name and giving you much honor and glory for your love and grace to us. We pray, dear Lord, that in all the things we say and do, we might in some small way become worthy of our names being found on your scroll of remembrance. Amen